APPT9 Aussie Millions: Richard Yong, king of the high rollers
One of the premier poker events in the world, the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge, has come to an end with Malaysian businessman Richard Yong claiming his first major championship victory and top prize of $1.87 million.
A staggering 70 entries started out for this event to create a prize pool of $6,860,000, and after two days of play, they were reduced to the just eight players. German superstar Ole Schemion held the chip lead on a final table featuring some of the best players in the world that combined for a staggering $57 million in career earnings.
In an interesting twist to the Aussie Millions schedule, the eight players had enjoyed a four-day break prior to the final table recommencing under the bright lights of the television studio.
Players of this class are hardly going to lose too much sleep waiting around for four days, and in fact, for some, it allowed them to get in plenty of game time during the Aussie Millions Main Event.
One of those was Alex Trevallion. After winning the $25k Challenge, Trevallion also ran deep in the Main Event, but he was unable to get much TV time as the first elimination of the day from the $100k Challenge final table.
It set the tone for some rapid-fire eliminations in the early stages with Dani Stern, Erik Seidel and Jason Mo quickly sent to the rail.
That left just four players, but Justin Bonomo was quick to follow when his A♠Q♠ failed to hold against Scott Seiver's K♣9♣. Two pair on the flop for Seiver saw Bonomo collect $800,000 as it was left to Seiver to take on Ole Schemion and businessman Richard Yong.
The chips would swing wildly during three-handed play, with all three holding the lead at various stages during the battle.
It would take some three hours before Scott Seiver three-bet jammed with 7♠7♥ into Richard Yong's J♦J♥. The board bricked out and Seiver left with a cool mil in his back pocket as Yong would carry a near 2-to-1 chip lead over one of the world's most successful tournament players in recent times, Ole Schemion.
Schemion's record for winning tournaments is well known, while Yong was gunning for his first major title, so it was always going to be an interesting heads-up affair.
Schemion got short but secured two double ups to shift the tide. The first was a dramatic runner-runner flush, while the second saw his top pair hold against Yong's flush draw.
It was then Yong's turn to land a dramatic double up, his A♦7♥ catching a running straight to survive against Schemion's dominant A♠J♣.
So whatever happened from this point, the production team had plenty of good material for an entertaining TV broadcast.
A key hand would see both players flop trips, but Yong had the better kicker to again double before the final hand would encapsulate the excitement of the duel.
On a flop of 7♥6♦2♥, Schemion check-raised all in and Yong snapped it off....with J♦T♦. Jack high? Really? It seems that Yong had mistakenly thought he held a flush draw but his cards were somehow still ahead when Schemion revealed 9♠8♦ for an open-ended straight draw.
The turn was the 6♣ and the river the 4♥ to see Yong's jack-high survive to claim the title and $1.87 million in prize money!
$100,000 Challenge Results
1st Richard Yong - $1,870,000
2nd Ole Schemion - $1,350,000
3rd Scott Seiver - $1,000,000
4th Justin Bonomo - $800,000
5th Jason Mo - $630,000
6th Erik Seidel - $500,000
7th Dani Stern - $400,000
8th Alex Trevallion - $310,000
With the $100k Challenge in the books, attention now turns to the continuation of the Deep Freeze Event and the conclusion of the Main Event.
The 2015 Aussie Millions Main Event final table recommences at 12:15pm local time on Sunday. In the meantime, check out the player profiles for our final tablists.
We look forward to your company again tomorrow as the Aussie Millions Poker Championship heads towards an exciting conclusion!
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.